This old place has some new adventures.

Mackinac Island—the country’s second-oldest National Park (from 1875-1895, when it became Michigan’s first State Park)—has so many new attractions for summer you will want to move it from the “been-there” side of your list back to the “to-do” column.

Brand new in May is the split-personality Watercolor Café Art Space & Beanery. By day, fill up on bakery, sandwiches, smoothies and snacks. By night, grab a taste of island life as local instructors turn the building into a straitside studio with adult art classes and children’s events.

There’s more art at the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum. The juried exhibition “Visions of Mackinac” encourages artists to portray the island in all media.

The Mackinac State Park has added a botanical trail along the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail. Seven turnouts feature plantings and interpretive signs about the island’s unique floral life.

New exhibits topside at Fort Mackinac include two period settings, galleries interpreting the officers’ training and duties and a multimedia experience to immerse you in the War of 1812.

A short walk from Fort Mackinac is a new kid on the Market Street block. The 19-room luxury bed and breakfast, The Mackinac House, opens in June. Mission Point Resort has completed the renovation of its guest rooms and Grand Hotel has added four new Cupola Suites.

More new nests for staying after the last ferry leaves are at the Waterfront Collection South, which has added 28 guest rooms. Ask about the walk-out balconies, where one can gaze out at the blue water of the straits.

Someplace old has something new, so borrow some time and enjoy the blue.

For more on making the most of Mackinac, visit mackinacisland.org.

Photo courtesy of MackinacIsland.org

Author

Joe Grimm is co-author of “Coney Detroit” with Katherine Yung, which makes him one of the biggest hot dogs in Michigan. Grimm went to high school with Scott Lukas and prefers a coney dog made with a poppy seed bun. As a student, Joe Grimm biked from the Detroit area to Mackinac Island for more bicycling on one of the only places in the United States that does not allow cars. Today, one of his favorite overnight Mackinac resting places is the Island House Hotel.

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